Hi everyone. I posted to see if anyone had a no longer used or cheap bike, but no takers :-( So now I would like to know if anyone knows of a good bike brand to get (I am currently tending towards Giant but they are more expensive), and if you have a preferred place to get one. Also what kind of lock, as I have heard that theft is rife.
Hello again Hamish. Giant is an excellent choice. A good place to look at many brands at once is the bicycle "supermart" near the Wal Mart at Xiaoximen. The entrance is just of Remnin Xi Lu and across from the offices of Kunming First Bus. (By the was you can purchase a reloadable bus pass there that brings the already great 1 yuan bus fair down to only 9 mao per ride!)
There is a comprehensive Giant store on Xichang Lu located behind the Walmart at Xiaoximen (walk out the back Walmart and at Xichang Lu turn left and go about 200 meters).
Theft is rampant, especially for new bikes. Do not leave your bike outside overnight. Bring it into your apartment if at all possible. When you go school, work, shopping, etc., leave it locked with an attendant. The best bike locks we have found at heavy cable locks wrapped in plastic that have a curved key that inserts into one end of the lock near the edge (the ones that have a simple key that inserts in the middle of the end of the lock are a joke!). Just use caution and make sure anchor your bike to something solid and run the cable through the frame. Also don't buy something too flashy or expensive (in other words, be prepared to lose it!).
Good luck and Happy New Year!
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I don't have a sidecar, but if you haven't gotten around to buying a bike yet, I'd like to offer you my barely used, royal blue, men's Flying Pigeon bike for a pretty low price. Wouldn't want to have to emasculate yourself by riding around on a pink lady's bike. It weighs a lot ( no gears, kunming isn't that hilly) but is really very sturdy, and I might be willing to throw in my excellent (american) lock for a little more. Maybe this should be in classifieds. Ride aggressively and consider spray-painting your bike ugly if it is a pleasant color and build. You can get crappy bikes for about 100RMB in the bikemart, and slightly better (stolen) ones for about the same in the secondhand goods market. But be aware that the cheap bikes will fall apart frequently and constantly need parts replaced. Flying Pigeon is a traditional, slightly more expensive, and sturdier brand.
If, Hamish, you did happen to have already found a bike by the time calyx's generous offer came in, I was wondering whether I might take advantage of it - I am also looking for a new to me used bike. But only if you're not interested, of course. Thanks,
Would love to take you up on the offer, but don't know if it's still available or how to get in touch with you. Can you call me on 159 251 70 750, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Hope to hear from you soon. (Sorry Tederico!)